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Yugoslavia: A Concise History [Hardcover]

By Dr Leslie Benson (Author)
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Item description for Yugoslavia: A Concise History by Dr Leslie Benson...

Today, only Serbia and (for now) Montenegro are what remain of the republics that once constituted Yugoslavia. The former Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, named Yugoslavia in 1929, has been a flashpoint of violence, terror, ethnic strife, and failed politics--and a mirror on the conflicts of the 20th century. From the first Serbian uprising against the Turks in 1804 to the coming trial and likely fate of Slobodan Milosevic, Leslie Benson provides a clear, concise guide to the making and unmaking of a nation, and what it means for a new century of nationalist conflicts.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Yugoslavia: A Concise History by Dr Leslie Benson has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Choice - 10/01/2002 page 339
  • Booklist - 02/15/2002 page 987

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Palgrave Macmillan
Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.84" Width: 5.7" Height: 0.81"
Weight:   1.04 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 20, 2002
Publisher   Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN  0333792416  
ISBN13  9780333792414  

Availability  120 units.
Availability accurate as of May 28, 2017 08:44.
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More About Dr Leslie Benson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! LESLIE BENSON is Senior Lecturer in Politics and Sociology at University College Northampton.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Eastern
2Books > Subjects > History > Europe > England > General
3Books > Subjects > History > Europe > England
4Books > Subjects > History > Europe > General
5Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Yugoslavia
6Books > Subjects > History > World > General
7Books > Subjects > History > World

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Reviews - What do customers think about Yugoslavia: A Concise History?

Difficult book to read and understand  Mar 25, 2008
I want it to read this book for my upcoming trip to Croatia,Slovenia and Montenegro, unfortunately this book was very hard to read and i was dissapointed.Seems to me the author is not interested in simplyfying an already delicate subject.The way he explains the problems in former Yugoslavia is very arcane and rough.The author doesnt explain the terms and political mindset of many of the participants involved.He just tells the story as it is without pausing to think if the reader is aware of the facts he is relating.In other words he's approach is: i am telling the story so shut up and listen.Very poor work
Seeking to the reveal roots of bitter clashes and struggles  Apr 5, 2004
Leslie Benson is the Senior Lecturer of Politics and Sociology at University College Northampton, United Kingdom. In Yugoslavia: A Concise History, Professor Benson provides his readers with a straightforward, meticulously researched, and informatively narrated historical study of the fierce ethnic rivalries that have hallmarked the Balkans and frequently erupted into horrific episodes of militant barbarism and the kinds of "ethnic cleansing" atrocities that shocked late twentieth century Europe and America. A thorough examination seeking to the reveal roots of bitter clashes and struggles, Yugoslavia: A Concise History is especially recommended introductory reading for non-specialist general readers with an interest in Yugoslavian history and acquiring a basic understanding of the historical background to the contemporary antagonisms that have so scarred the peoples and territories that once comprised the multi-ethnic nation of Yugoslavia.
A very good book on a complicated subject  Jan 30, 2004
The history of the area known as Yugoslavia is so complicated that the average person will throw up his hands in trying to understand the reasons for Milosevic's ethnic cleansing, NATO's 1999 air strikes against Kosovo and Serbia and the uneasy peace today. As the Ottoman Empire began to crumble, various elements saw their opportunity to hasten the Ottoman withdrawal and grab land and power. The turning point came in October 1912 when Montenegro declared war on Turkey, with the Serbs crushing an Ottoman army in a massed battle at Kumanovo in Northern Macedonia and taking Kosovo. A policy of terror designed to alter the ethnic composition of Kosovo and strengthen Serbia's claims to the province followed, leading to the massacre of about 20,000 Kosovar Albanians followed by torture, maiming, and forced conversions. In May 1913 Serbia and Greece, supported by Montenegro and Romania defeated Bulgaria; Serbian nationalist fervor boiled over as Old Serbia had been recovered, the battle of Kosovo was avenged and the Turk routed. On 28 June 1914 the Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo by a Bosnian Serb; Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia triggering World War I in which 40% of the Serb armed forces and 25% of the total Serb population perished. Serbia was too weak to claim a seat at the diplomatic table when the secret 1915 Treaty of London gave Serbia Bosnia-Herzegovina and a portion of southern Dalmatia where there was a concentration of Orthodox Christians. The abdication of the Russian Tzar in February 1917 robbed Serbia of its most powerful support. Following the war, seven treaties settled various territorial claims, Albania became an Italian protectorate, the Kosova Albanians revolted against Serbian rule, the Yugoslav Communist Party was formed, Tito returned from Russia where he had been a prisoner of war exposed to ideas and methods of the October Revolution, intrigue abounded everywhere jousting for power or justice, anarchy and murder ruled, people profiteered while others went hungry. Drained of blood and treasure, Serbia struggled to make good its claims against hostile Italian diplomacy while trying to integrate minorities none of which welcomed rule from Belgrade. The communists gained power in local elections and 16 parties were represented in the 1920 elections to choose a constituent assembly. The electoral success of the Communist party with an appeal well beyond the numerically tiny working class, exceeded the worst fears in government circles. "The kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes could hardly have got off to a worse start. Of the three founder-peoples, two were recalcitrant joiners. Now a rump 'Serbia' Assembly had passed a law giving apparently limitless power to the executive. The scene was set for two decades of political paralysis, which ended (when it was too late to make any difference) with the partitioning of the state and the outbreak of Hitler's war in the Balkans."

Hitler's plans entailed picking off one by one the states created by the Versailles Treaty and Yugoslavia drifted into the Axis sphere of influence. It was the Kosovar Albanians who caught the full force of racial bigotry that surfaced during the 1930s, resulting in murder, dispossession of lands and cultural oppression with the intention of removing them altogether. In 1935 Turkey offered to accept 200,000 Muslims from Kosovo. The communists, many of whom were revolutionaries in the Lenin mould, veterans of the civil war in Spain and with experience of prison and police brutality had their chance to form a formidable clandestine organization. The government was overthrown by a coup in April 1941and in retaliation, the Luftwaffe reduce Belgrade to rubble. In the turmoil of World War II, guerilla war and civil war, the communists gained power, but Tito's regional ambitions had no place in Moscow's plans, leading to the 1948 expulsion of the Yugoslavian Communist Party. Tito's death in May 1980 unleashed inflation, the party's hold on a discontented population weakened and old enmities reemerged. In 1987 Milosevic became effectively ruler of the republic, setting in motion an ugly tide of anti-Muslim sentiments on the 600th anniversary of Kosovo Field in June 1989.

The final chapter 'Back to Kumanovo' tells how the second Yugoslavia slowly expired following the fall of communism, the Milosevic years of ethnic cleansing, the 78 days of NATO bombing and Milosevic's arrest in April 2001 and warns that: "It does not seem even remotely possible that the Kosovars will accept for ever their present found constitutional status as an integral part of Serbia" and "Finally, but by no means least, the settlement in Bosnia-Herzegovina is coming apart at the seams, as most people always thought it would" and " However, the domestic politics of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia may be entering another phase of turmoil" and "In Macedonia, Bosnia and Kosovo the Balkan crisis continues."

Huntington tells us in 'The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order' that clashes between civilizations are the greatest threat to world peace; that since the end of the Cold War people define themselves by blood, belief, faith and family - ancestry, language, religion, history, values, institutions, tribes, ethnic groups and customs - rather than by nation, ideologies and economics; that the hotspots are on the fault lines between civilizations; that Bosnia was a war of civilizations with Russia providing diplomatic support to the Serbs while Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran and Libya provided funds and arms to the Bosnians; that the philosophical assumptions, underlying values, social relations, customs and overall outlooks on life differ significantly among civilizations, reinforced by the revitalization of religion. The problems in this area of the world are extremely complicated but they will not just go away. Understanding the history of Yugoslavia is the first step and Benson has done an outstanding job in presenting the facts in an unbiased manner for which we should be very appreciative.


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